10 things you should know about Nominated Members of Parliament

1. When the Bill to allow up to six Nominated MPs first came before Parliament in 1990, it drew fierce debate with several PAP backbenchers objecting to opening a back door into the House for people unwilling to contest elections.

The Bill is passed and later that year, the first batch of two NMPs enter Parliament.

2. In 1995, Dr Kanwaljit Soin, the first woman NMP, tables the Family Violence Bill. It does not pass, but some of her suggestions are subsumed under the Women's Charter.

Her fellow NMP Walter Woon, a law professor, passes the first Private Member's Bill, the Maintenance of Parents Act. A Private Member's Bill is one not tabled by a minister.

3. In 1996, Dr Lee Tsao Yuan, an economist and then-director of the Institute of Policy Studies, coins the phrase the Singapore dream - to describe the aspirations of the young to own properties and cars, sparking off nationwide debate about what the dream is and should be.

4. In 1997, the number of NMPs is increased from six to nine to fill the void left by the departure of two elected opposition MPs who lost their seats in the General Election that took place at the start of that year.

Three panels: business and industry, the professions, and the labour movement are set up to suggest candidates.

5. In 2000, NMP and businessman Zulkifli Baharudin pushes for space for free speech.

It is initially rejected by the Government, who feared the country was not mature enough but later approved and evolves into the Speakers' Corner in Hong Lim Park.

6. In 2002, NMPs' terms were extended from two years to at least two-and-a-half to prevent what happened to the sixth batch of NMPs from recurring.

Two new candidates had served only 17 days when Parliament was dissolved for the 2001 election.

Another three panels are set up: social and community circle, the media, arts and sports, and the polytechnics and universities.

7. In 2007, Mr Siew Kum Hong, a lawyer, requests to repeal Section 377A of the Penal Code, which criminalises sex between men. He does not succeed. His impassioned speech spurs strong rebuttals from fellow MPs who disagreed with him.

8. In 2008, Prof Thio Li-Ann, a constitutional law expert, and Dr Loo Choon Yong, executive chairman of Raffles Medical Group, file a motion asking that a by-election be required by law if the minority member or half or more members of a GRC slate vacate their seats mid-term. The majority vote against this, but they are praised by both PM Lee and the blogging community for raising the standard of debate in Parliament.

9. In 2009, NMPs are made a permanent fixture.

Previously, each Parliament elected after a General Election had to vote if they wanted NMPs for the next round.

10. There have been 65 NMPs, with another nine from the latest batch to be appointed by the President on Aug 26.

The youngest NMP to date is actress and former beauty queen Eunice Olsen, who entered Parliament at age 27 in 2004.

Dr Jennifer Lee Gek Choo, then-chief executive of KK Women's and Children's Hospital, was the longest serving NMP, clocking in three terms and a total of four years six months (1999 - 2004).

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